IFish Fishing Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone brought this issue up in another thread.

You may know that a few Oregon Fishermen are fighting to stop legislation that will severely restrict our right to use the John Day River for recreation. If successful, this bill could keep us off a lot of other Oregon Rivers, too.

In the thread "A bad bill - SB298" someone brought up the legality of the permit fees for the Deshutes river. Here is what I believe.

If you read Section 2 of the Oregon State Admission Act, it appears that these fees are illegal. (Use the link below.)

http://www.leg.state.or.us/orcons/admacts.html

So how can they get away with charging fees? Simple. The Deschutes River has never been declared navigable. And the Deschutes River is not even on the waiting list for a navigablity study yet.

This also explains why their are sections beyond the Warm Springs Resevation Lands that you cannot stop and wade and fish and sections where you cannot anchor your craft.

If someone wants to challenge the fees, the first thing they will need to do is challenge the navigability issue. The fees in all probability are illegal based on the Oregon State Admissions Act and many Supreme Court descisions regarding this issue. Consequently, a Federal Court might well throw fees out if asked to do so.

So either challenge the navigability issue on the entire Deschutes River, or quit belly-aching and pay the fees.

Or get ready to support a public initiative referendum that will force the State Land Board to live up to its responsibility regarding the Public Trust Doctrine and the right of all Oregon Citizens based on the federal definition of navigable, to use all navigable waterways for recreational purposes.

For the Federal Test of navigability visit this web site link:

http://statelands.dsl.state.or.us/whoownsthewaterways.htm

P.S. I think the limited entry permit issue would also get thrown out for the exact same reasons. As I understand it, the government (any government) cannot legally limit the publics use of a navigable water way.

[ 07-22-2003, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: Scruffy Bearded Varmint ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
SBV,

Navigability and regulatory authority aren't mutualy exclusive. The state and federal agencies charged with managing river resources appear to have plenty of authority to charge fees and limit use of navigable rivers. A couple local examples that come to mind:
-There is a limited entry and fee system in place on the Rogue River for the Wild and Scenic section.
-The State does not allow fishing from a floating device on the Sandy River from Oxbow Park upstream.
As far as the Deschutes goes, it's being loved to death by the public. I don't have any problem with the fee system as long as money is spent on facilities for users and law enforcement. A limited entry permit system appears to be inevitable. The growing popularity of rafting around the Maupin area has turned the place into a circus on summer weekends.

It's a crime that the Deschutes and all other rivers in Oregon haven't been declared navigable. There's plenty of blame to go around for this sad situation, but special interests with big money and gutless State officials are right at the top.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
I really don't like having to pay to gain access on any public land. But I think it's come to that. I think ALOT of people are not good at policing themselfes. I have been fishing at sheers since I started walking and now I have to pay to park. I don't mind, I was hoping that it would scare some people off. No such luck:) Mike T is correct that place is a circus But after spending the past couple of months in Shady cove the Rogue Makes that place look like a lonely island
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
I hate to bring this up, but Oregon seems to be quite backwards when it comes to the issue of navigability.

Most states (Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah) figure if you can float a canoe (the standard means of river navigation in the 1800's, when the western states were declared states), then the river is navigable.

Might be time to pressure the senators and congressmen of your fine state into enacting some common sense laws. "If you can navigate it in a kayak...it's navigable".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
The absolute test is whether or not the stream in its natural condition at any time of year could be used, or was susceptible to use, for navigation including passage of boats or for other commercial use...such as floating 26" shingle bolts downstream. Virtually all "rivers" and many creeks fit the description.

Just as with other controversial issues...i.e. CR gillnetting...getting the legislature to solve the problem just ain't gonna happen anytime soon. The Cattlemen's Assoc. is powerful enough to stop any legislative bill that would clarify the fact that riparian landowners don't own the bed & banks...or if they do "own" them, that the public has a perfect right to use them without payment of any fee or toll. We need an inititative ballot measure so the public can assert their rights and resolve the issue once & for all.

I hereby pledge to obtain at least 100 valid signatures for such an initiative campaign. :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mojo, GutShotApe, and all:

Several folks are starting to talk initiative petition regarding our rights on navigable streams. I suspect it will take a million to a million and half dollars to get it passed. The Farm Bureau, the Realtor's Association, and the Oregon Cattlemen's Association have extremely deep pokets and they will stop at nothing to prevent the state from living up to its responsibilities under the Equal Footings Doctrine and the Public Trust Doctrine.

A few years back an intiative to reverse riparian destruction due to cattle overgrazing was started. Two months before the election, polls showed it was a hands down 2 to 1 winner. These same special interest groups kicked into gear with a massive media campaign. They convicned Oregonians that the bills sponsors were really bad people and the bill went down in flames by a 2 to 1 margin.

Remember the "Don't Fence Oregon campaign? That campaing sponsored by the cattlemen, realtors, and Farm Bureau set fisheries restoration and habitat improvement in Oregon back at least twenty years. These are really nasty people and they have a ton of money. And they don't give a d*mn about a bunch of fools that stand in the water waving sticks. Our rights, the public's rights are just another obsticle to overcome on the road to riches through environmental depravation and destruction.

If a petition drive is started, who will contribute to the fund to make sure it will pass?

Right now our most important objective is defeating Senate Bill 928 and we need everone to contact their Senator to do this. After we win or loose this battle, we can concentrate on what comes next.

A lot of us have already incurred a lot of out of pocket expense trying to stop this monster. We have no political action committee. We do not have meetings, we do not collect money. In fact most of us have never even met one another. We all just recognize how critically important this fight is to the future of recreational angling throughout the state of Oregon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
SBV - Wasn't that Measure 38? I remember the "Don't Fence In Oregon" slogan...and seeing it on signs all over Oregon. Ironically, most of the signs were posted on barbed wire fences along with "No Trespassing" signs. I was amazed the public didn't pass 38...but, most voters probably don't get out into rural areas or eastern Oregon often enough to know most private lands were already fenced & posted...and thus were susceptible to a slick TV ad campaign.

I think it would be relatively easy to collect enough signatures to put an initiative on the ballot. There is already a network of Northwest Steelheaders chapters statewide...and Oregon Hunters Association also has many chapters around the state ("navigation" has been defined in previous court decisions to include incidental activities such as fishing andhunting). But, you're right...it would take big $$$ to produce a media campaing to match the opposition.

Would it be possible to win without extensive TV & radio airtime? :whazzup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
I will be taking a group to the "Maupin Circus" in a couple of weeks. The Deschutes River permit fees for the two days we will be there will cost nearly $150.00. For the amount of money they rake in every summer season just in the Maupin area I would expect to see an attendant in each staging area bathroom, not to mention paved parking lots and roads. Just where is the money going anyway? The fees keep going up and I'm not seeing it in improvements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,002 Posts
Regarding ensuring public access, before undergoing such a difficult initiative battle, there's a couple strategies to try:

1. The legislature. We really have to exhaust the legistlative remedy before going to initiative.

2. Litigation (or the threat of) against the state to stop the collection of taxes on property subject to a favorable ruling of navigability. A strong landowner argument is - "I pay taxes on it" (usually at a very reduced rate if at all).

The state must stop collecting taxes on property that is wrongly claimed by faulty deeds.

3. Formal notice to all title companies (a short list) informing them of all waters subject to navigability. This will then show as a caveat to buyers on title reports. I understand this is already being done in some places. Buyers are then informed and down the road cannot claim "but I didn't know".
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top